Diamonds are a CEO's best friend

At the end of Friday's blog entry, I posited the question, "Is anything really worth $3000 an hour?" I was referring to Ashley Alexandra Dupre, aka "Kristen," the hard working and highly compensated escort who took down Eliot Spitzer (in case you were hiding in a cave last week and missed it). But Cringester J. T. responded quite rightly that, at that rate, the answer would include anyone ea

At the end of Friday's blog entry, I posited the question, "Is anything really worth $3000 an hour?" I was referring to Ashley Alexandra Dupre, aka "Kristen," the hard working and highly compensated escort who took down Eliot Spitzer (in case you were hiding in a cave last week and missed it). But Cringester J. T. responded quite rightly that, at that rate, the answer would include anyone earning an annual salary of roughly $6.2 million or more, assuming a 40 hour work week and paid vacations.

According to Forbes' 2007 survey, the average annual CEO compensation for 2006 was $15.2 million -- or about the cost of two 7-diamond escorts and one somewhat skankier 3-diamond model. Of course, whether these Chief Escort Officers are actually worth that amount is another question. Ashley earned high marks from her clients; not so Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr, for example, who brought home $9 million in '06 while his company's stock tanked.

It's not just business types, obviously. Among pro athletes, Tiger Woods' 2007 haul is estimated by Sports Illustrated at $112 million, mostly from endorsements. Can't complain about the man's performance on the links, but I think his vocal delivery is a little stiff. Highest paid entertainer is Oprah, at $260 million. Her vocal delivery is spot on, but she can't putt worth a damn.

Topping them all though, is none other than Steve Jobs, who took home a salary of exactly $1 last year -- barely enough to cover a single download from iTunes. Of course, he also pocketed vested stock worth $647 million -- which would give him a diamond rating of around 104, not accounting for tips. A bargain at twice the price.

Speaking of Jobs, Cringe fan W. M. has nominated the father of the Jesus Phone as the best tech exec to fill Bill Gates' tennies as a target of high-tech loathing. "Shed the Teflon and go after the king of the pod people," he urges me.

Thanks, but no thanks. I get enough hate mail as it is.

Got hot tips, preferably ones that won't get me flamed? Send them to me direct or post them below. Cool swag awaits Cringesters whose suggestions make it into this blog.

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